Now in its third year of housing demand exceeding on-campus capacity, University Housing has turned to area hotels to hold students that would normally be in residence halls and on-campus apartments.
As of Friday morning, there were 112 students living in three Extended Stay Suites hotels in Auburn Hills, according to University Housing Director Jim Zentmeyer. This number includes four student staff members.
A new residence hall with up to 500 beds is scheduled to be completed in fall 2014. In the near-term, Zentmeyer said the decision to put students in hotels was one that had to be made.
“Keep in mind that without the option of the Extended Stay Suites, many of these students would not have the option of attending OU,” he said. “Given the reality of that outcome, we felt the responsibility to provide this stop-gap measure while we construct the new residence hall.”
Kate Bumhoffer, former president of the Residence Halls Association, said that she hasn’t heard many complaints and students at the hotel are glad to be close to campus.
“I think students that are in the hotel are just glad that they have a placement and know that they will be on campus eventually, at least next semester,” she said.
Zentmeyer said students at the hotel pay regular housing rates, and that the cost impact to OU is minimal.
“The budget impact to University Housing is minimal because Extended Stay worked with us to develop an attractive rate,” he said. The positive aspects of student enrollment and participation in the campus community is a positive for the university, overall.”
Hotel residents stil have access to OU perks
The Bear Bus has regular routes until 11 p.m. each night.
Hotel residents can still use meal plans.
Zentmeyer said hotel residents will fillvacancies occur throughout the semester.